Four New York Jets poised to make fantasy football fireworks

jets, michael carter

As fireworks go off across the country, ESM has four New York Jets to keep an eye on for your fantasy drafts next month.

Fantasy football fans know what Independence Day weekend means: they’re one step closer to draft day.

As America celebrates its birthday with, as President John Adams himself predicted, with games and explosives, ESM looks ahead to determined which New York Jets could provide a similar effect and have the biggest impact on your 2021 fantasy prospects…

jets, michael carter

RB Michael Carter

Drafting rookie is always a bit of a gamble, but Carter’s offseason surge makes him an interesting late pick.

Conventional wisdom perhaps suggests that users could take Tevin Coleman if they plan on partaking in the Jets’ rushing antics. After all, Coleman will probably start off as the Jets’ top rusher, if only due to his familiarity with Mike LaFleur’s offense.

But uncertainty lingers around Coleman after an injury-plagued 2021. Some believe that the rookie Carter could earn the primary duties sooner rather than later. His speedy abilities fit in well with what LaFleur is trying to build and he should be especially valuable in PPR leagues (82 receptions over four seasons at North Carolina). Owners may have to be patient, but Carter could emerge as a late-round diamond in the rough. 

New York Giants, Corey Davis
Sep 14, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis (84) in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

WR Corey Davis

The Jets’ offseason splurging on the receivers’ spot produced several developing receivers that could well earn the top duties. Davis was overshadowed by the rise of A.J. Brown in Tennessee, but the stage is set for Davis to emerge as Zach Wilson’s top target. It’s easy to forget that a brief bout with COVID-19 probably kept Davis from emerging with his first four-digit yardage season.

Those who are reluctant of trusting big play receiving duties duties to rookie Elijah Moore would be wise to take a waiver on Davis. But the latter your draft, the better. One may want to see how Davis fares in the preseason after missing some of minicamp with a shoulder ailment.

carl lawson, new york jets

Defense

Per NFL.com’s scoring, Robert Saleh’s 2019 defense in San Francisco ranked third before making their run to the Super Bowl. They were tied for third in defensive scores (5) and fifth in sacks (48). Injuries prevented them from building on that momentum, but there’s plenty to be excited about in the current green group.

Questions can be raised about the Jets’ experience in the secondary, so interceptions may be hard to come by. But the upgrades made to the pass rush could make the Jets’ defense the perfect unit to use as a second option in the early going.

The biggest difference for this group from a fantasy perspective will be Carl Lawson. Some have complained that his Cincinnati sack numbers leave much to be desired, but advanced statistics hint at his impact. According to ESPN’s “sacks created” category, Lawson (10.5) was one of only 11 defender to finish with double figures. In more conventional stats, he finished fourth among EDGE rushers with 64 pressures and set a career-best in quarterback hits (32).

While the advanced stats mean nothing for your fantasy games, the increased pressure could become a windfall for a front-seven that not only welcomes back homegrown breakouts (Quinnen Williams, Foley Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers) but also welcomed in some talented veteran outsiders (Sheldon Rankins, Jarrad Davis). One should also keep an eye on C.J. Mosley, who is due to return to the field in 2021 after medical absences.

Oct 1, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) celebrates his field goal with teammates during the first half against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

K Sam Ficken

We’ve spoken ad nauseam about the Jets’ kicking woes. It seems so small in the long run, but a reliable kicker would prove so beneficial to the development they seek in 2021. Nothing boosts the confidence of a newly minted franchise quarterback like ending possessions with points. A good kicker can obviously help provide such security.

Though the Jets added rookie free agent Chris Naggar to start a camp competition, the tenured Ficken appeared to having things trending in the right direction. He successfully converted each of his first nine field goal attempts, headlined by a perfect performance (5-for-5) in a nationally televised tilt against Denver in October. A groin injury marred the rest of his 2020 season, leading to struggles over three more games after a perfect start in the first five (6-of-9 on extra points, 4-of-6 on triples).

Provided Ficken beats out Naggar and shows no long-term effects from last year’s ailment, he could be an interesting choice for those who opt to wait until the final rounds, or even the initial stages of free agency, to grab a boot. Those who took Miami’s Jason Sanders (36-of-39 FG, including 8-of-9 from at least 50) reaped the benefits of getting opportunities while working with a rookie quarterback.

Which New York Jets will you target next month? Continue the conversation on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Why Daniel Jones will be a top-10 quarterback to draft in fantasy this year

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has all the weapons around him this season to be a top ten quarterback drafted in fantasy. The second-year quarterback will have all his receivers healthy and his star running back Saquon Barkley at full strength. In 2019, there were multiple games where Daniel Jones put up monster numbers in fantasy football. Not to forget, but Daniel Jones never had all his weapons on the field at the same time. If the New York Giants’ offense can stay healthy in 2020, it will be a monster year for Daniel Jones.

In his first career start, Daniel jones put up 34.24 fantasy points. These are numbers that you see from Aaron Rodgers or Russel Wilson. The week three game was madness, Daniel Jones completed 23 passes for 336 yards and threw two touchdowns. This was an electric game to watch for Giants’ fans. Especially when Saquon went down with a high ankle sprain and missed the rest of the game. I was proud of the young kid; he stepped up and earned respect from the Giants. Once Saquon went down, I expected the Giants’ offense to fall apart.

A healthy offense

It’s a huge factor that the Giants’ offense is healthy in 2020. This will lead to success for Jones because he has so many weapons to choose from; the possibilities are endless. If Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram can stay on the field, defenses will be in trouble. The Giants’ offense has five solid options, four at receiver and Saquon out of the backfield. I can see Daniel Jones averaging 20 fantasy points a week; call me crazy if you want, but if all these guys stay healthy, watch out.

An upgraded offensive line

The receiving core is not the only thing that will make Jones great in 2020. The offensive line for the Giants needs to step up. If they don’t, the Giants are in trouble. With the addition of Andrew Thomas, I think the Giants’ offensive line is completely upgraded. It’s still a mystery for fans to see who ends up where on the offensive line, but this year’s offensive line already looks better. Also, Daniel Jones took a beating last year; there were numerous occasions where Jones would throw the ball and be on his back a second later. If the Giants offensive line improves in 2020, Jones will go off. Giving him more time will be a nightmare for a defense, especially with all those weapons. He is a smart kid; Jones will be able to pick apart defenses in 2020 with the help of Jason Garrett. The Giants’ offense could be a top-five offense in the NFL next year, don’t sleep on it.

A whole new offense

There has been a lot of talk about how Jones will struggle to learn a new offensive system, I don’ think so. The Coronavirus has made it hard for players and coaches to meet up and discuss the new offensive system. I believe this year’s offense is going to be a lot better than 2019, Jason Garrett is going to be a hero in New York. I think the new system will fit Jones and Barkley well, a good mixture of play-action passes and some ground and pound offense.

In 2020, CBS Sports is projecting a big fantasy year for Daniel Jones. They have Jones going off against some of the best defenses in the league. For the San Fransico game, they have Jones dropping 18 fantasy points, and against the Steelers, they have Jones dropping 15 points. I would be very happy with these fantasy numbers. I drafted Daniel Jones last year in the tenth round; my friends thought I was crazy. Eventually, Daniel Jones was a clutch backup for me,  Russell Wilson started to struggle, and I needed the kid to step up. He was the reason I made the playoffs.

 

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Faces Toughest Fantasy RB Schedule, Says PFF

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The NFL season will soon be upon us. Along with it will come fantasy football. Annually, the most important players in fantasy football are running backs. Running backs are typically the most drafted position in the first round and, usually, the best running back in the NFL is picked first overall.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley will receive plenty of consideration from fantasy football players holding the number one overall pick in their respective leagues. Barkley is entering his third season behind an improved offensive line and a new, run-heavy offensive scheme.

In his first two seasons, Saquon Barkley was dominant. As a rookie, Saquon totaled a league-high 2,028 scrimmage yards. Barkley played through an injury in 2019, but he still managed to top 1,000 rushing yards. Saquon was also one of the best players in all of fantasy football during the fantasy playoffs. Saquon’s dominant performance against the Dolphins in Week 15 was worth 30.30 fantasy points. He then topped that in Week 16 with 43.90 points against the Washington Redskins. For me, personally, these two performances by Saquon Barkley were the reason I won my fantasy league.

As fantastic as Saquon Barkley is, his 2020 outlook is not as promising as one might think. Pro Football Focus’s fantasy football experts urge buyers to beware of the stud running back entering the 2020 season.

PFF’s “Buyers Beware” On Saquon Barkley

According to Pro Football Focus, Saquon Barkley faces one of the toughest schedules out of any running back in the NFL. PFF says, “The Giants, Titans, and Browns have the three hardest schedules for opposing running backs this fall, so buyers beware if you are considering Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, or the combination of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.”

The Giants do face a tough schedule in 2020. This schedule will be especially tough for the team’s backfield. New York is set to face off against some of the best run defenses in the league this season. Saquon Barkley is an extraordinary talent, but this tough schedule could hurt his fantasy football draft stock in 2020.

Giants-Bears: Top Fantasy Plays for Week 12

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard

The 2-8 New York Giants travel to Soldier Field to face the 4-6 Chicago Bears on Sunday in a matchup between two offenses that have been less than fantasy football friendly.

Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of the fantasy options in this ballgame.

Weather: The forecast calls for a sunny afternoon in the mid 40’s which is like a summer day this time of year in the windy city. Wind will be WSW at approximately 12 MPH.

Injuries: The Giants will be without their two top tight ends – Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion). TE Adam Shaheen (foot) is out for Chicago.

Matchups

QB: The Bears have been allowing just 12.4 fantasy points to quarterbacks while the Giants have surrendered an average of 19.7. Daniel Jones will start again for the Giants and his turnover problems probably won’t be solved this week. The Bears are 12th in the NFL in takeaways with 14 (7 INT, 7 fumbles) and the Giants are second in giveaways with 24 (14 fumbles). The Bears are 10th in the NFL against the pass. The Giants are 25th. Mitchell Trubisky (hip) practiced in full this week, so he’s likely to start. Advice: Jones is punt play this week at best. No one should be playing Trubisky in any format as he has been erratic all season.

RB: The Bears are 8th against the run and the Giants are 25th but both teams have allowed an average of 19.7 fantasy point per week to running backs.  Chicago rookie David Montgomery could be in for a nice day as well as Tarik Cohen, the changeup back. If you want to put your trust back into Saquon Barkley, good luck to you. He claims he’s close to 100% after the high ankle sprain earlier this season but we have yet to see the old Saquon since he returned from the injury. Advice: Play at your own peril.

WR: The Giants’ defense penchant for permitting big gains in the passing game is well documented. They lead the league with 12 plays of over 40 yards. Even with Trubisky under center, the Bears receiving corp looks like a play here. If you have Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel or Anthony Miller in season-long leagues, you should consider playing them. Chicago is 10th against the pass but they’ll have to deal with the Giants’ explosive rookie, Darius Slayton and veteran Golden Tate. They will be joined by Sterling Shepard, who is returning after five weeks in the concussion protocol. Advice: All six are season-long plays. DFS not so much.

TE: With Engram and Ellison out, the Giants will be roughing it with journeyman Scott Simonson and rookie Kaden Smith. The Bears will not have Shaheen and Trey Burton is on IR. Advice: Look elsewhere for a TE.

Defense: The Bears are in a good spot here to get some sacks and turnovers. The Giants will benefit from playing against a struggling offense but if you need to play them, keep in mind they’ve allowed 30 or more points in six of their ten games and over 27 in nine games.